Posts Tagged ‘critical thinking’

Will Plant-Based Meats Save the Planet and Our Health?

May 31, 2022 — Hope springs eternal. Hype sells better than mere facts. Imagined benefits are better than objective documentation. Thus, plant-based ultra-processed foods that simulate the experience of eating meat are still enjoying a health and environmental halo. But will these plant-based meats actually help to save the planet and our health? The Big Plant-Based Health Halo In […]

Drawing a Line Between Critical Thinking and Behavior

January 16, 2022 — Critical thinking is vital for progress. It really doesn’t matter whether the goal is overcoming obesity, COVID, or economic hardship. Rigorous, objective analysis allows us to recognize the truth of the situation we’re dealing with and then find solutions. But that’s not the end of the story, because the behavior that flows from critical thinking […]

Do Retractions Shake the Cult of Vitamin D?

March 9, 2021 — We are learning in so many ways that it’s hard to shake a cult. It might be a cult of personality or a cult around a theory. Right now, one that seems unshakable is the cult of vitamin D. With a frequency that seems daily, we see new studies proclaiming that vitamin D levels predict […]

Sorting Out “What the Science Says” Is Not So Easy

February 21, 2021 — There’s a new mantra making the rounds, but it’s really not so new. Let’s follow what the science says. That’s well and good, except that the science is seldom as definitive as we would like. In fact, when you dig into the details of any given study, you may find surprises – or more questions […]

The Vital Link Between Trust, Science, and Healing

January 19, 2021 — It’s hard to miss that we’re having a crisis of trust. That’s because it’s playing out very loudly in American politics. You might have heard about the riot in Washington, DC – a horrid spectacle fueled by mistrust. But the crisis of trust reaches much further than politics. In fact, trust is essential for science […]

When the Ring of Truth Is Merely Confirmation Bias

October 22, 2020 — In the face of uncertainty, humans often rely on the ring of truth. Facing a pandemic and big changes to daily life, reports of depression and anxiety grow. Surely this will bring a spike in suicides, people say. Equally certain is the belief that childhood obesity will rise. But sometimes, the ring of truth is […]

Captive to the Bias of an Attractive Narrative

May 11, 2020 — We’ve heard it many times before. Confronted with a daunting medical and scientific challenge, someone comes along to tell us that they can whisk away all that complexity. “I call it a beautiful puzzle,” said one person recently. He was describing how it really won’t be so hard to tame the coronavirus pandemic and get […]

COVID-19: Critical Thinking Versus Unreasonable Doubt

April 27, 2020 — What is the line that separates critical thinking from unreasonable doubt? A contrarian can save us from making grievous errors by failing to question false assumptions. But sometimes a contrarian view and insistent bias are nearly impossible to distinguish. COVID-19 is offering us many such examples. One of them comes at intersection of COVID-19 with […]

Bright Red Lines: Fact, Speculation, and Misinformation

March 27, 2020 — There’s nothing like the high stakes of a pandemic to remind us of danger from blurring the bright red lines separating fact, speculation, and misinformation. This is because an emerging pandemic presents us with ambiguity. But our human nature detests ambiguity. We crave certainty. Without facts to lean upon, we speculate about what might be […]

Fighting for the Moral High Ground of Nutrition

November 30, 2019 — Human history is full of bloody conflicts to claim moral high ground. The Thirty Years’ War pitted the Holy Roman Empire against Protestant states. But we can find nothing holy in the carnage that resulted. Now we wage our wars on twitter. And true believers go at it to claim the moral high ground of […]